We just spent some time going hands on with the two new iPhones that Apple announced in their town hall event which just wrapped up. The iPhone 5C comes in as an entirely new device and inherits the slot the iPhone 5 would've occupied had it been kept around. It's probably the most interesting to go hands-on with since it's Apple's first all plastic phone since the 3G and 3GS. 

I'm impressed with how the 5C ends up feeling in the hand. The hard coated surface manages to not feel slippery but still have a certain heft and solidness to it. What's interesting about the 5C is really the way its rounded corners all seem to have the same radius, which gives it a very unified feeling in the hand. The front, edge, and sides all share that same rounded profile. It still retains the same overall profile as the iPhone 5 as well. Buttons on the 5C are clicky and responsive, and also have that same hard coated feeling without feeling cheap. That's really the important thing about the 5C, it had to be solid while still being made out of polymer, something OEMs in the Android space still haven't quite nailed down.

 

The internal metal structure also helped the 5C feel rigid, the back side doesn't deform or press in like I've felt on a number of other all polymer phones. It's clear that Apple had its mechanicals nailed down for the 5C design to make sure it was rigid even if it was still polymer. 

iOS 7 looks right at home on the 5C as well, with matching wallpaper colors and styling out of the box. Obviously Apple thought about its color palette and designed the 5C around some of the vibrant tones in iOS 7, and it really matches and looks great on the device. The 5C comes in white, pink, yellow, blue, and green colors. 

With the 5C Apple also has some complimentary colored cases which look great on the 5C and contrast nicely with the colors. 

The rounded cutout portions of the cases look great and still show off the color underneath. Inside is a suede material that won't scratch the phone if dirt gets trapped in-between. The cases are also a polymer material.

The 5C might not be the flagship for Apple, but it's arguably the more interesting of the two devices since it's Apple's next attempt at a polymer device. 

 

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  • tipoo - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    The 5C is nothing but shaving some cost off for Apple while passing none to the consumer. It just has the same 5 guts, in a fugly as sin shell with fugly as sin cases. The 5S, I'm fine with. Though I think 64 bit will be their next cuttoff line for support with iOS9 or something. Just like OSX, when 64 bit was introduced 32 bit processors were supported for a while, then dropped. Reply
  • Deelron - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    It looked like from the leaks (if im remembering right) that its not just a iPhone 5 in a plastic shell, but that the 5c and 5s share a new, similar logic board, which would imply at least some sort of development outside of the shell. Looking forward to the tear downs. Reply
  • Davidjan - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    Looks great! But can't use this mini reader to add its storage: http://goo.gl/U6IyY Reply
  • thesavvymage - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    obviously not. Thats a given of any iOS device ever. Shouldnt even have to mention it Reply
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    I agree with you. Especially on the cases, blech. The only polycarbonate phones I've really been impressed by (both in terms of appearance and build quality) are Nokia devices. Other than that, I generally prefer metal. For balancing weight and cost, aluminum tends to be the go-to metal. Unfortunetely it scratches easily... they need to give it a layer of Gorilla Glass. IIRC Asus did just that on a zenbook.

    In terms of colors (other than polished metal), I've always been partial to black, though blue and white can look good too depending on the device. I'd take red if it's a fairly dark red.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    It's not "Apple plastic" and "Samsung plastic". They're just different types of polys and different body designs. Samsung could use the exact same materials if they wanted to spend the money. Plus the 5C has a metal frame inside to add rigidity. Samsung could do that too.

    The 9xx Lumias are a good example of a polycarbonate unibody that is excellent. Even the lower-end Lumias are pretty good, especially for the money. They're not using magical "Apple plastic" in them. :P
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    Nokia was making plastic phones with metal frames over 5 years ago, this isn't exactly breaking new ground. Apple's using a glossy finish too which IMO is less preferable than what HTC, Nokia, ASUS, and Moto have done lately (One X, VX, 8X, Lumias, Moto X, etc; also, they need to stop using X in model numbers). Reply
  • worldbfree4me - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    Very clever Apple! $549 Sans contract for the "C" depicting colors one would assume, which cleverly undercuts the custom colored creation by you aka MOTO X, which is currently priced at $599 sans the standard state side Carrier shackled 2 year deal. While some may see the "C" as the MOTO X fighter including yours truly, I see this as a marketing opportunity for Goog and Motorola. Picture it, "The MOTO X, Made in America, by AMERICANS!" For me, that alone is worth the $50 and then some. Apple can keep their communist made phone and place it in a place lacking the Sun for lack of a better word. That last part would only be included in N.R.A. and other right leaning publications, but I think it would win the public over in a Southern heartbeat. Reply
  • Azurael - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    I'd been waiting to see what would happen when Apple went back to polycarb.... It's a shame it's glossy and going to look just as scratched as my old MacBook after 6 months, but it's better than aluminium that seems to dent and scratch just from looking at it funny.

    To say none of the Android manufacturers have managed a plastic phone that 'feels' nice/sold is a bit disingenuous though - remember the HTC One X? I loved that phone. And it wasn't glossy. Admittedly mine is dead now, but it still LOOKS immaculate and feels bomb-proof. Lol.

    I'd still take a Lumia running Android though. But I guess that's even more of a never going to happen thing now. Still, at least if the LG G2 translates into a Nexus 5 relatively unscathed, that looks like it should be nice hardware. And no more glass back! Yay! Although it does mean handing over more money to the bar stewards who made JBQ quit. But then, who's SoCs can I support? It's not like Nvidia or Samsung (worse, actually) are any better... Or Ti are competitive. At all.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    and yet no mention on the HP Zbook at all...... Reply

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